Sunday, April 19, 2015

Railgun to be tested at Eglin

The Naval Sea Systems Command will conduct the first at-sea test of its Electromagnetic Railgun (EMRG) in the summer of 2016 at Eglin Air Force Base's maritime test range. The BAE Systems designed test gun will be mounted on the USNS Trenton (JHSV-5), built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., for the tests. Navy officials said last week at a U.S. Navy League Sea-Air-Space symposium that the Florida over-the-horizon test will place a static floating target at a range of 25 to 50 nautical miles from the test ship and fire five GPS guided hypervelocity projectiles (HVP) at the target as the final part of 20 planned firings for the rail gun at the Eglin range. The rail gun uses high powered electromagnetic pulses instead of chemical propellants to fire projectiles that can move at seven times the speed of sound. The kinetic energy can accelerate a 45-pound projectile from zero to 5,000 mph in less than a second. (Sources: multiple, including USNI, Janes, Seapower Magazine, 04/14/15)